Penny Marshall’s Field of Dreams
Baseball fan Penny Marshall says directing A League of Their Own was one of her better managing jobs.Madonna and Geena Davis had to prove themselves on the ball field before they were cast in A League of Their Own.The 1992 movie about the All-American Girls Baseball League that took to the diamond in 1943 is on DVD today in a special edition. Like a savvy baseball scout, Marshall molded a team that included a skilled veteran (Geena Davis), a starter in a slump (Tom Hanks), a big name who would sell tickets (Madonna) and an unknown talent (Rosie O’Donnell).Assembling the team wasn’t easy, she says. Women she considered suitable for the roles had to make it through baseball tryouts. “I would not let the actresses read (for a part) unless they could play ball,” Marshall says.And some managerial shuffling was required. Madonna was a late replacement, and Marshall knew she and O’Donnell were friends, so the director rewrote a character for O’Donnell, who was a good player. It was the future talk-show queen’s first movie.Among the highlights on the two-disc set ($25), out today:? A full-length commentary with Marshall and actresses Lori Petty (Kit), Megan Cavanagh (Marla) and Marshall’s daughter Tracy Reiner (Betty). You learn that several players suffered concussions during filming. ? Madonna‘s video This Used to Be My Playground for the song that ran during the closing credits.
Most people would identify Marshall, 61, as a basketball fan. A season ticketholder to the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, she goes to Sacramento Kings games, too. But for a girl born in the Bronx, baseball came first.”I live in L.A., so I go to basketball games,” Marshall says. “But I love baseball”.Based on a www.usatoday.com article.